Value Orientations of the Reviewers of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research: A Cognitive Mapping Study
The paper reports the results of the cognitive mapping procedure applied to a series of interviews with the reviewers of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research. The procedure can be qualified as a qualitative research method, which allows to produce a graphic representation of the cognitive content of the respondents’ speech. The interviews touched upon the criteria and methods used by the reviewers in evaluating research proposals, as well as the value basis of the Russian scientific community. Cognitive mapping was applied to 15 interviews, which allowed to conclude that the examined group possessed coincident beliefs in regard to the following themes: recognition of the crucial value of the information about the principal investigator for the review process; understanding basic research not so much as purely curiosity driven but as aimed at a distant practical goal, which is viewed as an argument for funding a wide range of different basic research topics; accentuation of the meaning of earnings and favorable work conditions as motivations to engage in science as opposed to purely creative and self-actualizing motives; accentuation of the emigration of young talented researchers or their choice to engage a different career path as a key problem of science in Russia.